Friday, January 1, 2010

A new year of reading - what is the plan?

It's 8:35am on New Year's Day, 2010. I'm up way too early and without a hangover, SO, I have time to reflect on the year of reading ahead.

I am going to call 2009, "the year without reading." Technically, this is not true, of course. I would have to be dead or recently blinded and not learned braille yet for there to ever truly be a year without reading. But, overall, I felt like I read less than usual in 2009.

I did have two magnum opuses (opuses being more common in the English language than "opi"; he he) in my reading list:

World Without End by Ken Follett, 1024 pages (I read it on the Kindle - 20,000+ clicks!)
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth, 1488 pages

Books like that can take a bit of time. Each book was for a bookclub, so they were on a deadline as well, which perhaps cut down on my simultaneous, multiple books reading.

My book total for the year was 73.

Here is a sampling of my favorite books (in alphabetical order, by author's last name), read in 2009 :

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
People of the Book: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks
Valeria's Last Stand by Marc Fitten
The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
Alice Waters and Chez Panisse by Thomas McNamee
The Host by Stephenie Meyer
City of Refuge: A Novel by Tom Piazza
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaeffer & Anne Barrows
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

My LEAST favorite book of the year was Netherland by Jospeh O'Neill. God, that was awful. My entire neighborhood bookclub hated it as well.

Surprisingly, Jodi Picoult's Handle with Care falls in the least favorite category as well.
Here is my LibraryThing review of the book:
I am a huge Jodi Picoult fan and have read every book she has written. Handle with Care was disappointing. If you have read My Sister's Keeper and hated that pointless ending, you will hate this one as well. Picoult is a very formulaic writer and the formula usually works, but here, Picoult just lacked original detail. Handle with Care is another book featuring a relationship between a sick sister and a healthy sister, decisions that tear a family apart - it felt too similar to My Sister's Keeper, but it was not as well told, the characters were not as compelling/likeable. I'm worried now. I hope Picoult's next book is better!

So, 2010. What is the plan?

In the wee hours of this first day of January, as I lay in bed, preparing to sleep, I finished off an advanced reader copy of The Journal Keeper by Phyllis Theroux. It was interesting and inspiring and filled with literary references. One way I enjoy reading is to flow from one book to a literary reference, or to another book by the author. So, perhaps I will do that.

I think I will choose Ten Poems to Set You Free, Roger Housden, because I NEVER read poetry. And I can buy it right now on the Kindle. :-)

Have a Happy New Year of reading!!